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Low Impact Exercise to Protect the Joints

Why is High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) so popular? It's incredibly difficult, hard on your body and has a higher risk of injury than many other workouts - so why is it on the menu at every gym in the country? Easy: it doesn't have to take an hour to get results. But are the risks worth it? Couldn't there be another way???

As we place more and more demands on our time and on our bodies, we're discovering that at some point the body and mind just say, "Enough." Injury, a meltdown at work, increase in blood pressure, snapping at the spouse and kids - all signs that there's too much going on. Your exercise routine is supposed to be good for you, so if it's starting to be one of those things that's contributing to stress in your life, it's time to change routines. That doesn't mean giving up a healthy body or spending even more hours at the gym, it just means it's time to change it up.

Low impact workouts for as little as 10 minutes at a time can have super health-building effects. Going from high impact to low impact immediately means less stress to the joints, so lower risk of injury. A greater focus on muscle groups with active/static exercise combinations can increase core strength, improving posture, back stamina, and balance. And a brief low impact workout can be done by itself once, twice, even three times a day, or combined with some other form of exercise (still want to do that early morning run?) to provide a well-rounded and safe challenge to your body.

Of course the best way to ensure a kinder, gentler workout is to do it on a shock absorbing surface. No, your living room carpet isn't what we're talking about. While carpet is comfortable for exercises done slowly or on your hands and knees, it doesn't provide a stable surface for balance. Try planking on a high-end Berber and you'll know what we're talking about. So the best surface that provides comfort and support for the joints at the same time is going to be the tried-and-true EVA foam mats. You can choose the number of mats you need for your workout area and they'll lock together to give you a supportive, cleanable, and attractive surface for your workout.

While the boot camp instructors are screaming at you to push harder and harder, it's ok to step back and tone things down once in a while, especially if it means you could be extending your workout life by being kinder to your joints for a while. A low-impact interval in your routine might just be the thing to extend your peace of mind and give your body a new challenge. Keep it simple, keep it safe.

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